The First Five Minutes On The Table
First things first, determine exactly what everyone’s trying to accomplish. Is the individual there to learn, have fun or play for a living? Most of your profit in no limit Hold’em games is going to come from picking a target and going after him. A lesson taken from the movie Rounders: “If you can’t spot the sucker within the first half hour, then you are sucker.”
Figure out who is winning and who is losing. People usually don’t play as well when they are losing, therefore a losing player may be an easier target. In no limit, you have to learn and understand people you play against. The strategy you used yesterday could be worthless today. You need to know what kind of game plan you are going to use and know the game plan you will be using will be the right one.
Another individual you should target are player’s who are excessively drinking. Pick on the drunk guy who’s just there to have a good time and gamble. You may get a few bad beats from time to time with drunks because of their willingness to take chances more often, but in the long run they’ll pay you off nicely.
In the first five minutes, try to establish a dominating presence at the table. You don’t want to be someone else’s mark. If no one are the table knows you, they might mark you as a fish and try to bully you around.
No limit’s no fun when you have people targeting you. Reek of confidence; sit up straight and let them know how comfortable you are. Be intimidating – let them know you’re a well- rounded no limit Hold’em player and you’re ready for any play they throw at you.
Last, but not least important point, is to pay attention. If you pay attention constantly after you fold, you will pick up on certain tells and player’s betting patterns. Players will show information you can use against them.
The Importance of Poker Position
Texas Hold’ em is all about people and position. All rounded Hold’ em players agree that position in no limit Texas Hold’ em is fundamentally important. Playing your hole cards in late position can be much more profitable than in early poker position.
The reason because much more information is gathered before acting. For example, I was playing a $1-$2 no limit cash game at a local spot. I limped in with 2 , 9 unsuited (a terrible hand) on the dealer button, just to see some action.
Flop came down A – A – 4 .
A player in early position made a $15 bet. Two players fold and it was my turn to act. I should have folded, but his play seemed a bit off. I identified this player as a weak-tight player earlier, and typically if he had the best hand he would just check. I thought, ‘if he held trips, why would he raise so early instead of checking and try to trap other players.’ I didn’t put him on an Ace this time, so I called. The turn came down with a 7 , making it A – A – 4 – 7 .
My opponent made another bet of $20. I hesitated a bit, but made a split decision to re-raise another $30 on top of his $20. He folds and I take the pot down.
Playing late position gives you an idea where you stand by observing how players react and bet. On the other hand, players at early position may us their poker position to check-raise the late positioned aggressors and trap them later at the end. In Texas Hold’ em, both ends, late and early should be played cautiously regardless